In order to move around with ease the connective tissue in your dog's legs needs to be healthy. What happens if your dog experiences a leg injury though? Our Thornton vets discuss tendon injury and muscle strains in dogs and how they can be treated using cold laser therapy.
Tendon Injury & Muscle Strain
Your dog's tendons connect their muscles to their bones allowing movement and withstanding pressure. While they can handle a large amount of pressure these tendons do have their limits and once they reach these limits injuries may occur.
A tendon injury can occur in many different forms such as laceration, inflammation, or rupture of the tendon to the joint which can cause severe pain and lameness which more commonly happens with larger dog breeds.
Symptoms of Tendon Trauma in Dogs
- No longer able to move as usual
- Pain in and around the area of the tendon
- Inability to flex the joint involved
- Tendon inflammation
- Plantigrade stance, which involves your dog dragging their paw around
Tendon Injury Types in Dogs
A tendon injury or muscle strain can happen in many different areas of your dog's body. Two of the most common types of muscle strains that are seen in dogs are:
Achilles tendon injuries: This type of strain can be either caused by an injury to the tendon or through the natural aging process. Large breed dogs will more commonly experience injury to the Achilles tendon.
Bicipital tenosynovitis: This type of injury is caused by inflammation of the biceps' brachii tendon and with most injuries such as this, the large breeds of dogs are most commonly affected. There is also a chance that dogs with this injury may experience rupture and hardening of the tendon.
Tendon Injury Causes in Dogs
While the cause of muscle strain in dogs can be chronic and caused by the natural aging process it can also be caused by various injuries. Some common causes of tendon injury and muscle strain in dogs are:
- Straining of the tendons: Straining can cause the tendons to stretch more than what is natural and cause injury. This is common in racing and working dogs.
- Laceration of tendons: If your dog experiences a laceration there may be an increase in pressure, a decrease in blood circulation, as well as possible inflammation and even infection.
Dog Tendon Injury & Muscle Strain Treatment
There are a variety of treatment methods that are available to help with dog tendon injuries and muscle strains. One such treatment is cold laser therapy.
Cold laser therapy is a type of treatment method that utilizes focused light to increase blood circulation and provide stimulation in order to speed up the process of cell regeneration.
One of the benefits of cold laser therapy for dog muscle strains is that it is non-invasive and does not require any medications and is proven to help treat various types of tendon injuries and is especially effective when combined with other forms of treatment.
Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs With Muscle Strains
The veterinary industry has deemed pet laser therapy safe and effective. It can effectively be used to treat diseases, injuries and conditions such as tissue injuries (including strains and sprains) and arthritis.
We often use it to supplement other treatment options to give our pet patients an improved outcome.
As for benefits, laser therapy can:
- Enhance circulation
- Decrease nerve sensitivity
- Reduce pain and swelling
- Speed the healing process
- Laser therapy does not require sedation or have side effects.
- The treatment area does not need to be shaved.
Over time, the effects of cold laser therapy are cumulative. For best results, treatments should be completed at the frequency recommended by your veterinarian.
Before treatment, we will perform a full physical exam, in addition to x-rays if required, to determine whether cold laser therapy is the right treatment option for your pet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.